It makes me sad when people dismiss Art Nouveau as being “for the rich” while acting as if things aren’t really Solarpunk unless they’re gritty or recycled looking. People act as if pretty things are only for the wealthy – which is just what the wealthy want you to believe.
Art Nouveau is perfect for the Solarpunk movement, and not just because of the plant-based themes. It’s deeper than that.
Art Nouveau was an inherently anti-capitalist movement.
Art Nouveau found its roots in the Arts and Crafts movement in late 19th century England, when the industrial revolution was in full swing.
Artisans rejected the things which Victorian capitalism was all about. Things like mass production, profit over quality, and the
Instead, their goal was to
Art Nouveau grew across Europe in reaction to industrialization.
It was never intended to be enjoyed in private. Artisans wanted to create beauty in public spaces, which is why train stations are still often full of Art Nouveau architecture. The Paris Metro is a well known example.
Even as the wealthy were trying to push
Another thing about Art Nouveau is that it was intended as a Gesamtkunstwerk – a German term for a “total work of art.” Their goal wasn’t just to make a few things pretty for a select few.
Their goal was to make literally EVERYTHING beautiful. Everything from buildings and public spaces to everyday furniture and eating utensils.
Unfortunately, the blossoming Art Nouveau movement was killed off around the time of World War I and never properly recovered.
Now, it’s considered to be a thing of the past. Capitalism teaches us that things which are old and pretty are also expensive and that they are only for the wealthy to enjoy. We’ve been indoctrinated to believe this.
Do NOT believe this. Beauty is not for the rich or for a select few. Beauty is for everyone.
In summary, this is why the Art Nouveau aesthetic matches Solarpunk. Both movements are
For this reason, I like that much of the Solarpunk movement is influenced by Art Nouveau. I really hope it continues that way.
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